Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rocky Mountain N. P. - Alberta Falls

The day started with fresh brewed lattes at the Estes Perk coffee located at our campground, the National Park Resort Campground. The coffee wasn’t all that great though, but it was a nice way to start the day. The overnight temps held in the low 50’s and it was still chilly as we tore down the campground. At the campground there was a small parking area at the bottom of the hill where we were told we could leave my bike for most of the day.

Starting out the day with latte at Estes Perk located at the National Park Resort Campground

Humming birds at the coffee shop

Our camp site at the National Park Resort Campground in Estes Park

National Park Resort Campground

Just like yesterday, today we were planning on doing some more hiking at the Rocky Mountain National Park. To get in to the park with our annual pass we had to enter the park either both in one car, or both on one motorcycle or each on our own bike. So my bike got parked for the day as we headed to the park in the rental car.

But we didn’t even drive as much as we though we would. The park was packed today and the trail head lots were already filled by 9:30AM. We parked the car at the Moraine visitor center and took the free shuttle to the Bear Lake trail head.

Free shuttle bus at Rocky Mountain National Park

We were going to do a slightly longer hike this morning, starting at Bear Lake hiking to Alberta Falls. The trail is just shy of a mile. I read on one of the websites that Rocky Mountain National Park is for hikers and no doubt, this trail is a popular trail and it was packed.

Hiking to Alberta Falls

A nice curve on Bear Lake Road, our trail went right past the road

Alberta Falls at 9,400 feet in elevation

We started out this hike with long pants and long sleeves but within an hour it had warmed up enough to take off one layer and to converts our pants in to shorts by detaching the pant legs. By the time we arrived at Alberta Falls located at 9,400 feet it was really warm. The Alberta Falls area was swarming with people, we continued hiking to Glacier Gorge Jct to catch the free shuttle bus back to the car. The hike was really fun, not too strenuous at all with very nice scenery.

Continuing on the trail to Glacier Gorge Jct to catch the free shuttle bus

After the shuttle bus dropped us off at the Moraine Visitor center we realized we still had some time so we hiked a short loop there, but the clouds were starting to build already and by the time we got back to the visitor center it was already drizzling. We left the park and arrived in Estes Park to get my bike. We needed to be in Colorado Springs between 7-8 PM tonight.

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